Thursday, April 28, 2011

Remember when I said I had a couple more projects...

Well, it's actually 3 more projects - completely forgot about the shelves I picked up at Goodwill too! Here are the rest of my Goodwill purchases - well furniture anyways, I am wearing a dress (one of 5) I picked up there as well. You can't beat a $5 dress folks!

Pottery Barn shelves - 3.99 for the big one, 2.99 for the small one

Rocking chair - 9.99 I think

Small chair - 5.99 (from the Outlet)

Sneak peek of another project I started this week!

So 4 chairs and 2 shelves. I can't wait to have these done. Those shelves are Pottery Barn and were selling at another thrift store that weekend for $50, granted it was a bigger shelf, but I got 2 that equal that size for less than $7. I haven't decided if I'm going to paint them or stain them darker or just clean them up a little bit - thoughts?

And the sneak peek of another project I started - I do  remove wallpaper and this stuff just had to go! It's not in my house but a good friend's house. I just picked up the paint today so I should have this done in the next few days. Stayed turned for before and afters!

As I was peeling wallpaper off last night, I realized that none, I repeat NONE, of my projects have ever turned out to be less work than I thought. Speaking of, I've signed on for some cupcakes and cake for a confirmation this weekend too...where do I find the time?!?!

Anyone else working on projects??

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Opinion Monday

I've decided to take Monday as a day of reflection from the past week and weekend and let everyone know about whatever it is that is on my mind. For my Des Moines friends that watch Sports Sound off on Sunday, it's similar to either "I think" or "What's Bugging Andy" - really just depends on my mood.

People, just because it's old does not means it's vintage....

That's my opinion. I've been hearing this word a lot lately and honestly, most of the stuff that says "vintage" is just old and the reason you have it (and are trying to sell it on Etsy for a ridiculous price) is because no one else wants it...because it's old. Finding a harvest gold bowl from the 70's does not deem a resell price of $27 - pretty sure my mom sold hers for like .50 on the local yard sale 10 years ago...because it's old, and ugly to boot! I wish my parents hadn't gotten rid of the harvest gold side-by-side fridge we had in our "vintage" house before building our new one 15 years ago - I could have put that on Craigslist and sold it as a friggin antique.

When I was at Goodwill the other weekend, oddly enough, there was a great 4-drawer dresser at Goodwill marked "Vintage" and they wanted $80 for it - seriously Goodwill, people don't shop here because they 1) have $80 to spend on a dresser or 2) want anything vintage. We want cheap!

I've taken a few moments to just so a search for "vintage" on Craigslist in the Des Moines area. Let's play the game: which does not belong?

A) vintage boat - $4000

B) vintage drafting table - $200

C) vintage toys - $165

D) vintage Amp - $150

The question again - which one of these items does not belong in the "vintage" answer - none of them! They're all old, used and are overpriced by about 10 times.

Although, if I can work my magic on the four chairs I got at Goodwill,  call them vintage and sell them for 10 times what I paid for them, well, then okay, perhaps I'll give this vintage thing a try!

Lady Gaga was right, I WAS born this way!

Circa 1997 I was a proud member of the Central Live Wires 4-H club. I was 13 at the time, although I'm pretty sure I joined when I was 9 or 10, and I have to attribute most of what I know about a sewing machine to 4-H. Our leader, Sara, opened her house and taught some of us girls how to sew. We started with pencil bags, with zippers (level of difficulty for a 10 year old, 8 or 9), and I was pretty much a sewing machine (bahaha, so funny) since then! I made several garments and modeled them in the 4-H fashion shows, even taking to the stage at the Quincy Mall to display the black pants I was making for our high school marching band Flag Squad that summer - those were a much larger project and I was still sewing on them 2 seconds before we entered the field and some poor girls had pens holding the hems up, sorry girls! I'm a bit of a procrastinator...

Anyways, while I was home this past weekend for Easter, I remembered a pillow I'd made oh so many years ago when hunter green and white stripes comforters were in. You know the ones, you probably had it in black or blue or red. For my project to enter into the Adams County Fair, I made a decorative pillow to match my new bedding. I have to say, this little project isn't bad, and I'm sorry to say that tgdesigns will NOT be featuring the tassel border on any pillows.

This pillow is certainly 'vintage' -- as are the Polaroid pictures accompanying my project. I clearly waited until the last minute to do this and my poor mom didn't have time to take film to get developed so we busted out the Polaroid, which she still has.

I'm  not sure what's up with my writing style, but I'm glad that phase is over as well. I didn't win any ribbons for this project :( But I do have plenty of other ribbons from my frosted glass ornaments, wire flowers and biscuits that all took me to the Illinois State Fair 3 years in a row, go me!

So see, Lady Gaga is right... and this project just proves that I was born this way!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'd normally take Saturday off...

But this Saturday is not a normal Saturday for me. Those consist of waking up too early, generally with a hangover, followed by an uber productive day with the roomie. We find yard work in 90 degree temps to be the best cure for a hangover - or shopping, either one, really, works. But today I was rudely woken up by my special dog Trigger. He's been living at my parents for a little over 3 years now and loves when his momma comes back to visist. I buy him treats, a bag of dog food, and scratch his belly whenever he wants. Who says I know nothing about parenting?! Pah-lease peeps, I know all. Anyways, he woke me up this morning by most likely taking a running start from my parents bed and slamming himself into the bedroom door as hard as possible - I imagine he was thinking the door would not be closed all the way. After that failed, he threw his 35lb self (see pic below) into an upright position and began scratching the door. At 6AM. On a Saturday. I sat straight up in bed and yelled "Oh my God!" In my defense, I was having some odd dreams, nothing too out of the ordinary for me, but being interrupted in this manner, well, it scared the hell out of me! Tyler politely asked me to check my heart rate to ensure I wasn't having a heart attack and was back to sleep in about .2 seconds. So here I am, 6:48AM, Saturday morning at my parent's house with about 10 channels to flip through.

I'm hoping for good weather today so we can do some landscaping. After 15 years of living in this house, it's time my parents do something with the front porch area. We'll hopefully see to it that that is accomplished this weekend. We also gave my dad a framing nailer last night as a belated  birthday gift - I see a framing lesson in my very near future. Be afraid landlord, be very afraid!

Me and Trigger. The fatter he gets, the thinner I look - I'm okay with this.

Well, I'm off to make some homemade cinnamon rolls just like my Grandma Giles use to make - ya, I'm pretty much awesome :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stage 1 Hoarder

I like projects and I like Goodwill. And in a previous post I talked about the Goodwill OUTLET store, which is apparently where all the rejected stuff goes to be picked up by the cart full and paid for by the pound by people I would refer to as Stage 5 hoarders. I wish I could have taken a picture of their carts - a hodge-podge of all kinds of items from a random jar, to a wicker wreath, to a lady (with an overflowing cart) asking her husband if the GIANT stuffed lizard is cute - and these two were in their 50's, maybe 60's. Perhaps they were picking it up for the grandkids, but a word to the wise - Goodwill OUTLET is NOT the place to pick up STUFFED toys for the grandkids. I should have taken a picture of my wet wipe after cleaning my hands. D.I.R.T.Y.

Anyways, so after 5 Goodwills and several trips to one, I picked up 4 chairs to redo. As I was moving stuff around in the garage, I realized I had a headboard I'd picked up off Craigslist last summer (or was that the summer before?? hmmm...) that I'd repainted and was going to use. Well, in true hoarder fashion, it still sits in the back of the garage. I no longer have the twin size bed (yeah, 27 and finally got a big girl bed - my comforter set on the other hand, fit for a 3 year old) so I have no practical use for it. Yep, classic sign of  a Stage 1 hoarder.

Here are the two of the four chairs I picked up - in no particular order of ugliness:

I've already started work on these chairs as you can see - and if you look in the background of of the rocking chair picture, you'll see the 3rd chair - another little rocker (the other black chair is not mine - that belongs to Val, who is not refinishing it but rather just storing it in the garage). I already took the seat off of that one too; I got a little anxious and forgot to take before pictures! So much to remember when blogging.

I'll post pictures of the other chairs as soon as I remember to do that! Until then, happy hoarding!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Warning: this image is rated R

Again, not family friendly - I'm okay with this since I don't have any rugrats running around. I just wanted to showcase a baking adventure I went on with my roommate Val.  They're similar to cake pops in that it's cake in a shape and covered with melting chocolates. We've put our own twist on the traditionalness of without further ado, introducing......... Weiner pops, box of cocks, and whatever else your (dirty) mind comes up with. And Val took the adventure on this project - hitting up the porn shop, 3 times, to get the appropriate sized pans for this party favor. I chose to submit this image in a small scale for obvious reasons. And I hope it doesn't get flagged for inappropriateness - is there an awesomeness flag around here??

These were in a box for a friend's bacherlorette party. Big hit!

Before they are individually wrapped.
Lined up like little soldiers. 

These are great for bachelorette parties ladies, or bachelor parties! Instead of the age old, Suck for  Buck with the Dum Dums, try these on for size! These can easily be sold for 2 for $5 at the bar - trust me! People will be a little leary to start off with, but a few drinks into the night and EVERY one wants to have one of these! One party we took these too even had people putting them in their purse to take to work on Monday to show off to their co-workers - they really are worth seeing! 

If you'd like to have these at your next party, just submit your email address in the comment are and I'll get in touch with you.  Trust me, no one can pass up a good weiner :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Who wants to be Felt up?

As I noted earlier, tgdesigns started out as an idea on my way home from my parents house after several days home for Christmas. It's a 4 hour drive and I've been doing it for 8 years now so it allows me a lot of time to think. A year or so ago, I decided I wanted to be a Wedding Day Coordinator on one of these drives back home, after I'd just done this for a my best friend's younger sister's wedding. I had all these ideas and have a pretty good knack for telling people what to do and then executing the idea myself so I figured I'd be good at this. Yeah well, that takes up lots of Saturday's and I really enjoy my weekends so I decided against that. I think on one occasion I was going to head back to school for an interior design degree, one had me moving home, and there were several other plans decided (then decided against) from those drives. I think that this is one I'm going to stick with...

So, felt up (this is not a family friendly blog as I may take to it to rant about something throughout the week so don't be sending your impressionable young one's over here unless you've already checked the'm working with felt right now for some (insert Miley Cyrus voice here - and click that link for a video) "pretty cool" pillows if I do say so myself. I don't really know what attracted me to felt, I just was. So here are a few of my "Round 1" designs...

I plan to get back to the craft room in the coming days to work on some new designs - I took a few months off to work out like a crazy person so I could fit into a new swimsuit and bridesmaid dress for my best friend's wedding in Jamaica and then make 300 cupcakes for her reception (plus display). So now I'm back, working on new stuff (picked up 4 new projects this weekend - who knows about the Goodwill OUTLET?? seriously, an OUTLET for Goodwill?? anyways, I think I'll be snagging a few more projects from there in the coming weeks - great place if you want to get your hands (literally) dirty!) and excited to get my launch party on!

Oh, you can follow/subscribe to my blog on the sidebar - do that so you don't miss out on anything! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Welcome to tgdesigns!

Hey all, it's your favorite crafter/designer/baker - Traci Giles. I started tgdesigns on my way home from my parents house after the Christmas holiday. I've always had a knack for designing and crafting...and power tools! I have described myself as a mix between Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker and Ty Pennington - although with less tools and gadgets but with as much enthusiasm they have for their craft. My projects range from refinishing kitchen cabinets to repainting and designing a room to making a cupcake display and cupcakes (along with my trusty Sous Chef and roomie) for special events. I can be described as a "Jill" of all trades - anyone who tries to my my Jack will most likely just get jacked, I'm a bit of a control freak until said projects are done.

I'll be working on posting some before-and-after pictures soon of some projects I've done and some I'm currently working on. I hope this blog inspires you - inspires you to: take ordinary (mostly Goodwill) pieces and make them your own, dust off that old sewing machine and make something, or simply make cupcakes for the office birthday party instead of swinging by the gas station for donuts on your way in. And if you just can't get inspired, message me and I'll take the creative reigns and create a piece that's as unique as you!
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